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Senate Guard Helmet Plume Length/Height

 
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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Joined: 11 May 2011
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Senate Guard Helmet Plume Length/Height Reply with quote

Hello Again.

I'm back with another "out there" type of question and once again it has to do with the Senate Guard helmet with the plumes.



Just about to get started on this one and just trying to suss out the height/length of the 'infamous' plumes as it's going to cost at least £100:00 for the required horse hair. I could do it a bit cheaper but this will be a one off so I will be using actual horse hair.



With the pictures I have I reckon the plumes are (at their longest) looking to be around the 6" mark and slowly curving down to 2" at their lowest point at the rear of the helmet.



Just wanting to know what other folk thought with regards to the length of the plumes. I never got to see the Senate Guard lids at the Star Wars concerts a few years back and even then I think it was the visored lid that was on display.

If anyone can make an accurate judgement on the length of the plumes I would be extremely grateful as I pretty much have to get it right first time due to the cost of the hair. have thought about using broom bristles and even synthetic hair but have seen all together recently and the real hair is "the" only way to go as far as I am concerned.

The height of 6" is a good one methinks as unless I can stiffen the hair in some way the hair will start to "flop" if it gets much longer but I think I can get that one sorted with making the channels the plumes will be resting it a bit deeper to support the weight of the two plumes (did I sound like I know what I'm talking about! ).

Looking forward to reading what you guys (and girls) think about my puzzle!
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Mieal Deneb (Rachel Orange)
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I commend you for going authentic with the real hair. I plan to use broom bristles for my husband's helmet, but because of the cost of real hair. Crying or Very sad I would imagine you wouldn't want the tallest sections to be much longer than 6" because of the "flop" factor, but it would take holding it up to the helmet before cutting to know for sure...for me anyway, I like to "eyeball" stuff.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best thing you can do to find out how long *your* helmet's plumes would have to be is to use the 'proportional' method.
The problem with having 'someone' tell you how long those plumes have to be is that *their* plume length won't necessarily look 'right', since you and that person may have different body heights.
I used the proportional method to make my dad's 'Emperor Palpatine' costume, to get the exact hanging sleeve- and tabard lengths (and also for some other costumes, like my Jamillia and Apailana).

Here's how:
First, take two pictures of yourself (or let someone else take them ;-) ). While taking the pictures you want to stand next to a measurement tape (you can temporarily tape one to a door frame in which you're standing, for example).

Should look like this (note that the measurement tape in my picture shows centimeters, not inches; but I guess you'll understand the principle. Also, it's color coded (each color = 10cm / ~4 inch), which helps a lot to 'see' things!).

You want to take two pictures: From the exact front and from the side.
For reasons that you'll soon understand, you should wear your so-far finished costume and the unplumed helmet.
Also, imitate the exact pose of a front- and side view picture of the original costume.

Next, use an image editing software that can handle layers (occasionally also called 'objects', depending on the software), like Photoshop, Gimp, Corel PhotoPaint or PhotoImpact.
Bring your 'measurement tape' pictures as layers into that software, and create new layers above those 'measurement tape' layers - which should contain the corresponding front and side view photos of the *original* costume.

Now, here's the tricky part (not knowing how skilled you are with image editing software, I can't tell how tricky or easy this will be actually).
You have to adjust the sizes of all layers, so that each body part in your measurement photo lies exactly on top (or beneath, depending on your layer order) the body parts of the costumed guard in the layers that contain photos of the original costume.
To do so, just change the opacity of the layers, and, when you're finished with one layer, set the visibility of it to zero, then resize the next layer until all 'people' (you and the original guard...) in them have the same digital size.
Good reference points for doing so in *your* case are:
Top of the helmet, lower side of the nose (which can be seen in the side view of the costume that you posted), the elbow (you can lighten your picture of the original costume using the very same software, so you actually CAN see the elbow! ;-)), shoes and shoulders.
Those, in all the pictures, should be at exactly the same respective horizontal levels.

Should look approximately like this (if you would juggle with the opacity of the layers...). Note that my dad's top of the head, shoulders, elbows, hands and feet are at exactly the same height as the mannequin's; enabling me to 'see' the size of my dad wearing the original costume:



Now, see that?
The measurement tape is STILL visible in the picture.
Actually, using a selection around the tape in YOUR picture, you can even copy just the measurement tape to a new layer and move it around, or even rotate it by certain degrees, and STILL read what's written on it, and the grading on it will still be correct as long as you don't resize JUST the measurement tape layer.
See where this is going?
As soon as you've made an 'overlay' layers file in which you and the original costume wearer have exactly the same size, you just need to move around your copied measurement tape, and just need to read what's written on it to see how long your plumes have to be to be *proportionally* correct for your body height.

This method of course also works for any other kind of costume (or parts of it).

Also, to make the plumes stiffer, you could always first do the 'inner' part of the plumes, then stiffen THOSE using epoxy or polyester resin (polyester only if you're NOT working with fake hair!) to almost the top (while they're lying flat on, say, a (plastic sheet covered!) table.
When that has cured, add the 'outer' hairs and basically 'glue' those (from inside) carefully to the already stiffened inner parts - carefully working so no resin is visible on the outside.
It works, but practice it first!

Hope that helps. In case you have any questions (because sometimes I'm bad at explaining things), don't hesitate to ask :-)
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thnaks for the input ladies!

Very much appreciated and has got the 'ol brain thinking especially with regards to 'stiffening' the plumes.

At the mo though it's one small step at a time.
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Ritin Kornas ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ! Having made the helmet myself, i've quiet a lot of thing to tells about length and proportionnal method.
For the method, a good point for anyone is that normally your distance between the 2 center of your eyes, should be 6 cm like any other humain. (if i don't mistake, about 2.5" ...)

When i've done my helmet, i've been concerned by the plumes, and I find by propotion that the plumes length is decreasing from top to back as you say, 15 cm to 7 cm so in inch : 5.9 " to 2.7" quiet the same you say.

And so, DON't take real hair, thay will not stand, I've talked to roman reconstituion group and they told me, not horse or hair, take synthetic to get something that willl stay well with no curve.

And search after that and well finally, i found a brush factory, that can sell me something with the good length : polypropylène :

They could sell me the length i wanted, and i just needed to put it on the helmet after that, they sell only the fiber, it was about 30 euros maybe, i need to check my e-mail i send 2 years ago. Or... They could also make a flexible plastic thin ruler, with the polypropylene fiber already put on it, at the good length, and i had just to put the little ruler full of plume on the helmet Smile
It was a little bit more expension, but i don't remember if it was 40euros for 1 or the 2 crest.


I will check my mail and let you know.


For now, i have coco fiber, painted in black because i'm student and i found that was too expensive for only the crest, but i when i will make a new helmet, i will take their crest !




PS : this was the visored version of this costume in all the expo. and the visored version have some proportion differences.
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Naergi ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ritin Kornas wrote:
Hi ! Having made the helmet myself, i've quiet a lot of thing to tells about length and proportionnal method.
For the method, a good point for anyone is that normally your distance between the 2 center of your eyes, should be 6 cm like any other humain. (if i don't mistake, about 2.5" ...)


Not necessarily correct.
Humans have differently sized heads.
That should be pretty obvious for people who have different heights (like 5'2'' versus 6'2'') - the smaller the person, the smaller the head...), but actually, also people with the very same heights can have heads with different sizes, because heads aren't proportionally sized compared to the height of a person.
That's why it's not advisable to approach proportional resizing by just looking at the head when trying to create something like those plumes on the helmet (which have to look proportionally correct not just when *only* looking at said head, but proportionally correct compared to the entire height of the person wearing the helmet).

By the way, the only thing that's pretty much consistent among humans is, actually, the size of the eye's iris, which is approximately 1.25cm (1/2 inch).
That's why children's eyes seem 'bigger' - it's because the iris already has that size, even if the head is still proportionally smaller than, for example, that of an adult with the very same iris size.
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TK IAIN (Iain Hamilton)
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again foiks.

Both Naergi and Ritin - any input is much appreciated.

I am grateful for the suggestions with regards to the polypropylene for the helmet plumes and I have managed to source some from both the USA and a UK company and just waiting to hear back from them to see what they say.

TBH - I was not that impressed with the look of the polypropylene next to reall horse hair for the plumes and the costs would be roughly the same anyway but I am always looking for options and want to get all the options I can have before starting the plumes in a few months.I will probably change my mind several times before making the final decision on which way to go.

I would be very grateful to you Ritin for any info you have on your plumes and the supplier for the stuff you used,

Thanks again folks.


Iain
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